In the now-infamous climactic scene from the HBO documentary series The Jinx, the alleged triple murderer and confirmed creep Robert Durst mutters into a still-live mic that he “Killed them all, of course.” That line has justifiably received a lot of attention and will no doubt receive more when he eventually stands trial for the murder of his friend and apparent confidante, Susan Berman.
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The Steubenville High School rape allegations were more than a controversial court case; they were a true test of character. Unlike most tests, however, assessments weren’t about achieving a final grade or score. Responses to the allegations were a measure of an observer’s own personality traits, such as personal temperament, sympathies and loyalties. The judiciary system has, of course, already made its evaluation: the two young students were found delinquent in a juvenile court. The court of public opinion, however, has not being unanimous in its verdict and already appealed the judge’s decision. Many people continue to object that the victim was really to blame while others maintain that the defendants should have been tried and convicted as adults. Various media outlets have similarly courted public opinion by instinctively sympathizing with the convicted rapists at the expense of the real victim.